These past few months have been full of uncertainty. From failed plans and dreams delayed. Late at night, I wonder what's next. What will happen to me in the next few months? Who will I meet next that will be a part of my life? Will I get what I prayed for, or will I become disappointed? What will my job look like in the future, will have another job? The fact is, I don't know. It seems like everything I plan lately seems to not work or somehow becomes delayed. Maybe it's bad timing. As a I continue to think on these thoughts, I also begin to wonder was life this uncertain when I was younger. I used to be so confident and positive about life and what's to come, but now I find myself unsure. Unsure of my plans for the future, unsure if I'm doing what's right, and even unsure if things will work out as I planned. I notice that I'm in need of a constant and as I've gotten older, I have found a constant. This constant has kept me sane. This constant has brought me contentment. This constant has brought me purpose. This constant is God. I've listened to this podcast recently called trusting beyond knowing by TD Jakes and reflecting on what God's word says. After reflecting, I felt encouraged. Here are some of my podcast thoughts and reflection on God's word.
Thoughts taken captive:
The first thought is that whatever the outcome is, it will be for my good. This saying comes from this verse used all the time when faced with adversity: Romans 8:28, "And we know that God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Knowing I can trust God no matter the outcome is comforting, and God's promises are something I can count on as well. In this verse, Paul is talking to the Romans, encouraging them through tough times, and saying that it will all work out for their good. At first, I thought it could only be good if I got what I wanted, but then I started to see it from a different perspective. I'm safe because God knows what I need and what is best for me. Also, in Jeremiah 29, 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Psalm 139 :1 says You have searched me, Lord, and you know me". These verses all affirm my safety in God. I can trust God because He knows me and He knows, what is best for me, and He has plans for my life. I can trust His word and actions that no matter the outcome, He is good and will be good. I don't have to worry in times of uncertainty but instead to have faith in the one who has what is best for me.
Another thought comes to mind is a famous American lawyer and Presbyterian church elder, Horatio Spafford, comes to mind. I learned about him in school and was always shocked by his faith and surrender to God. Remembering Horatio brings me to my second reframing thought. It is well with my soul. I will give a quick synthesis for those who've never heard of Spafford. The story goes those two years after their son died, Horatio sent his wife and four children ahead of him to see a friend preach, and suddenly, an accident happens where Horatio losses his children but not his wife. Years later, Horatio and his wife had three more children and then lost his only son. Then is when Horatio started to put the pen to his paper and write the famous hymn we know today: "When peace like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, it is well, it is well, with my soul."
The lesson of this story has always been to keep the faith even in times of sorrow. I really like this story because his story seemed hopeless, and it wasn't a happy ending of where God blessed him immediately but instead it was a story of his testament to still believing in the Lord even when things didn't go as planned. It's truly inspiring that through the darkness and hardships of his life, God used his story of pain and sorrow to be a song we sing today. Life can send us harsh storms that cause great sorrow, but it can still be well with our soul. That sums it all up when it comes to uncertainty. You see, I will never know what comes next. My storm is in the waiting, the anxiety of not knowing what will happen in my life. Will I end up in my sorrows in life or will I rejoice. Either way I can rejoice when its storming and when it is not. I shift my focus on what I do know, which is God's words that provide me comfort and peace. Lastly, this verse that comes to mind is Romans 5:3-5 "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." This verse has been my life verse that when things get hard, I can put my hope in God and know that whatever seems hard now is for my good.